As we enter the final month of the third quarter, the numbers seem to be in line with what we had last year at this time as currently 34% of all listings in Scotts Valley are in contract, in pending status. Last year, at the end of the 3rd quarter the numbers showed 32% homes in pending status and I think that when September is through, we should be right around the same number.
At this time, the average list price for all active single-family homes is $1,027,684 with an average days on market of 57 days. All pending single-family homes are at an average list price of $936,629 with an average days on market of 46 days.
What this tells me is probably something you already know, and that is that homes in the $1 million plus range are lasting a little longer on the market than those in the $900,000 and under range. Homes in the higher price point are sitting just a little bit longer than they were in the late first to mid second quarter of this year, February through late May and early June.
Homes in the $1 million plus price point like 14 Deerfield Drive in Scotts Valley, listed at $1,295,000, are lasting a little longer on the market than they were in the first half of 2016. The keys are a proper price point, a good marketing plan and patience.
Patience is a Virtue
Many of the agents that I talk to are telling me the same thing, very little showings at this time with some homes going for a week or two with no activity. We are talking about well priced homes in very desirable neighborhoods. But when it all comes down to is this; If you price your home well and have a good marketing plan, you just have to be patient and “stick with the plan” as I always like to tell my sellers. Almost always, these simple words of advice have resulted in happy sellers at the end of the day.
Homes are just not flying off the shelf for the most part. There are certain homes and price points that do sell a little faster than others, but most of the Scotts Valley real estate market as well as everywhere else, INCLUDING Silicon Valley is in the same boat. So don’t panic, have a plan and stick to it.
5 Home Seller Tips for Today’s Real Estate Market
If you are selling your home right now, here are 5 tips that are associated with with the market is doing right now, at this very moment.
1. Understand the CURRENT Market Conditions
It is a different market today than it was just a few months ago. Nothing to panic about, we had the same thing happen last year at this time and the market rebounded nicely the following Spring (Spring 2016), but if you are selling right now you need to know that the market has cooled quite a bit from what was a red hot 1st half of 2016. Once you know and understand this, you will be a lot better off and a lot better informed and prepared. The market is not always what we want it to be, the market is what it is.
2. Do not UNDER-PRICE Your Home to get Multiple Offers
This is many times a very good strategy when the market is rolling but in today’s market this could be a very dangerous move. You could be setting a new lower price point for your home and neighborhood. Meaning, if you list your home at a much lower price than what it is worth, you better be prepared to sell it at that price of no other offers come in. I never advocate over-pricing your home. That is never a good strategy. But right now, at this moment, understanding the real value of your home and pricing it accordingly cannot be overstated.
3. Avoid Lengthy Upfront Offer Presentation Dates
Setting upfront offer presentation dates is also usually a very good strategy as it allows enough buyers to have the opportunity to see your home so that as many people can get in and submit their offers to you. But right now, many listings are not having much activity at all and if that one buyer walks in and is prepared to give you a great offer and you make them wait 10 days, they may be the only buyer seeing your home and you could turn them off or let them get away when they see another home like your home come on the market and end up buying that one.
4. Listen to what Buyers are Saying
If comparable sales earlier this year or two months ago are saying your home is worth $900,000 but in today’s market you are getting offers in the $875,000 range, chances are that is what your home is worth TODAY. Even I as a seasoned real estate professional of over 30 years have seen the market change from one month to another that had us listing a home at what a recent home had closed for, only to have the market change right before our eyes. It happens. It is hard to always nail the market and price, but listen to the market and to what buyers are saying by what they are offering.
5. Work with a Local Agent
Yes, I am a local agent, but that is not why I am writing this. In fact, there are many excellent local agents. But I cannot stress enough how important it is to work with someone who has their finger on the pulse of what the market in your area is doing. A good local agent talks to other local agents, shares information and news and many times knows what is going on before it becomes news. You would not see a foot doctor for an eye exam, right? Work with someone who knows and understands your local market.
The above 5 tips are crucial at this time. As I have said many times before, the market can and many times does turn on a dime and what I am writing today could be irrelevant 2 months from now, or next spring. But right now, this is what you need to know and understand.
Not a bad time for home buyers right now, there is a great little window that exists that could change once things heat up a little as I expect it to.
Happy Selling and Happy Buying!
Robert Aldana is a 30+ year licensed real estate veteran with American Dream Realty in Scotts Valley, and also a long-term resident and homeowner here in town. He is the founder of MyScottsValley.com and the popular local news and events page at Facebook.com/MyScottsValley.
Robert was also a nationally syndicated real estate journalist and was a highly sought after interviewee on the topic of real estate by local, national and even international media, in addition to appearing on HGTV and local NBC’s “Best of the Bay”.